A year since the election, we have two new GB voting intention polls (from YouGov and Survation) and a new Scottish poll (also from YouGov) today.

Looking at the YouGov/Times GB poll first, voting intentions are CON 44%(+2), LAB 37%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1). The seven point Conservative lead is the largest since the election but normal caveats apply – it is only one poll. Over the last two months YouGov have been showing a steady Conservative lead of around 4 or 5 points, so normal sample variation alone is enough to explain the occassional 7 point lead. Watch the trend, rather than getting excited over individual polls. Full tabs are here.

Survation‘s topline figures are CON 41%(nc), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 9%(+1). Changes are since mid May. Like YouGov, Survation have shown a steady position for the last couple of months, but there’s an obvious contrast in terms of what that position is – YouGov have a steady small Tory lead, Survation are showing the parties steadily neck-and-neck. As I’ve said before, there’s not an obvious methodological reason for this (while Survation have a very distinct sampling approach to their phone polls, this is an online poll and their online polls use broadly similar methods to YouGov, ICM and other companies, so there’s no obvious reason for differing results). Full tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Meanwhile YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions are

Westminster: CON 27%(+4), LAB 23%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), SNP 40%(+4)
Holyrood constituency: CON 27%(+1), LAB 22%(-1), LDEM 6%(-1), SNP 41%(+3)
Holyrood regional: CON 26%(+1), LAB 21%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc), SNP 32%(nc).

Changes here are since the previous Scottish YouGov poll, way back in January. There is very little movement in Holyrood support, but in Scotland the Conservatives have moved back into second place. Full tabs for the Scottish poll are here.

759 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Survation voting intentions”

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  1. Interesting to see so many Labour rebels voting to remain in the SIngle Market. Must be very encouraging for those people who support their cause.

  2. There were 15 labour leave rebels.

  3. “It’s not as if the English are superior to the Scots or any other race for that matter.”

    I’ve seen some nonsense on this board, but that takes the biscuit! :-)

  4. Prof Howard

    “Ian Masterton MP who is said to be one of Scotland’s best known Conserative MPs.”

    Where is he the MP for? Who said he is one of the “best known”? I don’t recall anything he ever said being reported. I know of no substance for his allegation, so it would be useful if you could give some supporting evidence.

    If you can’t, why would you randomly post a politically motivated tweet?

  5. It seems as though the treatment of Scottish members at Westminster is very poor. Ian Blackford – the leader of the SNP group – has tweeted the following: “My SNP colleagues and I were treated to the same braying and disrespect that we receive on a continual basis. Scottish Tories told me to sit down. Let me be clear, the SNP shall not ‘sit down’ and allow the people of Scotland to be treated in this way. ”

    This must be a matter of concern as it is important for all MPs to be treated respectfully regardless of which country they come from.

  6. Pete B

    As I posted upthread, that comment is nonsense, so we agree on that.

    But is your complaint that “the English” are actually superior? :-)

  7. I haven`t been attending to the board and the messages responding to my complaint of unfairness meantime to Scotland from the Tory government and parts of the media, since there`s been urgent garden work.

    The end of the 4-week drought has brought out armies of slugs and snails attacking lettuces and even young leeks, while the strong winds have been tumbling over brussel sprouts and broad beans.

    On nationalism I am not a keen advocate, but I feel people in a country should take pride in their good achievements and view these objectively alongside the successes of other countries.

    I get angry when minorities are ignored and majorities change the rules retrospectively so that they win.

    The EU referendum was purely advisory, which we were constantly told, and the Tory leadership said the results in each nation would be respected – it`s in Hansard and the leaflets we were sent.

    But Scotland`s democratic vote is not being respected by the Tory government – that would entail having the Scotland government in the Leave negotiations, and a compromise on CU, SM and immigration. Sadly it seems Jeremy Corbyn is little better.

    Which means there will be continued trouble and probably a new Independence referendum.

  8. Oldnat, he is the MP for East Renfrewshire, I heard he was one of the better known of the Conservative MPs in Scotland.

  9. Prof Howard

    “It seems as though the treatment of Scottish members at Westminster is very poor.”

    Is Michael Gove poorly treated at Westminster?

    More accurately, the treatment of MPs from Scotland who speak to Scottish concerns is very poor (theoretically any party, but normally SNP now and Labour formerly).

    It’s not new. Donald Dewar led the 50 SLab MPs in a walkout from the Commons in 1987 in protest against the Tory Government’s failure to set up the normal Scottish Select Committee.

  10. @Trevor Warne – “I am happy to repost the info on the potential Brexiteer backstop for NI (specific WTO articles that can be used to avoid chaos in no-deal, or slow implementation during/after transition).”

    If you could please – I didn’t catch up with this last time and would like to know what they are suggesting.

  11. I see Labour are out doing the Tories on the front bench resignations up to six so far.

  12. Prof Howard

    Few MPs from Scotland (of any party) are “well-known” unless they are spokes persons for their party on current issues.

    MSPs are much better known. That, no doubt is one of the continuing whines from Unionist MPs from Scotland – few have heard of them and fewer care.

  13. @ Davwell & others

    I’m a little bit surprised at what seems to me like genuine anger about the devolution amendment from you and others especially with regards to the Labour vote on that amendment.

    Maybe I haven’t fully understood the issue but from what I can see it was a vote to “temporarily” (yeah yeah I know!) bring back powers that the EU already has rather than work on a complicated set of legislation to devolve some of these powers immediately. On the face of it this doesn’t seem that unreasonable given all the other things to resolve around Brexit. Have I missed something?

    The wider issue of whether SNP MPs are being treated fairly in parliament is probably a valid one but I assume this is largely a Tory v SNP issue? The issue of how much time the amendment was given is valid although I don’t think it would have made any difference to the outcome on any of the amendments whether they had been debated or not.

  14. Now more that 1,500 new SNP members since noon today.

  15. I’m not too bothered about the apparent Labour split. In a way the PLP is triangulating!
    As D. Skinner reminded the PM, they’re not in Govt.

    As far as I can see Starmer, Clarke (and Greive) are co-ordinating, and, fingers crossed, we’re gonna get a BINO. My preference would be a Norway +. Always the only likely outcome.

  16. @ProfHoward

    Just to spare you any needless hassle, it might be Paul Masterson, rather than Ian!

  17. John B @ 6.39 pm

    Is it the Church Patronage Act of 1711 to which you refer?

    This by harshly giving power to major landowners (called the heritors) over church affairs led to much arguing and eventually stand-offs in the C19.

    I admired the compromise of the 1690 Scottish settlement that took power from bishops, whereby the ministers in churches who wished to still be ruled by bishops were allowed to stay ministering in their parishes until retiring or death. So we had for 20/30 years a mixed situation, some churches Episcopalian, some Church of Scotland.

    But gradually the landowners took too much power, like present-day Tories, and this had to be overturned.

    In my own local church`s archives, we have a letter of the 1820s from a local go-ahead to the Duke of Gordon (living 70 miles away) “I`ve built half the houses in the village yet you`ve only allocated me two bottom-rooms in the new church (c. 36 inches) while you have a whole pew”. [I paraphrase].

    Compromise ought to be integral in politics.

  18. @oldnat and @profhoward

    That tweet by Masterton echoes ( or rather repeats exactly) those from other Tory Scottish MPs last night. Its argument was refuted last night. The Labour Party were responsible for the 11 divisions which occupied 2h 30m of parliamentary time and the Government tellers for the votes were the last to be ready so wasting time. And the UK Minister chose to use all of the 15 minutes which that left available for debate on the devolution amendment so denying any opposition parties the opposition to contribute.

  19. @shevii

    Yes you’ve missed that “temporary” is 7 years at least and that the Scottish Parliament voted overwhelmingly to withhold legislative consent.

    The central issue is that the Scottish Government argues that the frameworks should be arrived at by agreement between the UK Government and the devolved governments and the UK Government will only commit to consultation ( NB the JMC which was meant to be the mechanism to involve the devolved governments in Brexit has been almost entirely disregarded by the UK Government).

    As Iain McWhirter wrote in the Herald today the Scottish devolution settlement ended last night.

  20. Hireton

    Masterton’s allegation is certainly capable of being falsified so I am interested to hear evidence on the matter.

  21. Shevii

    “from what I can see it was a vote to “temporarily” (yeah yeah I know!) bring back powers that the EU already has rather than work on a complicated set of legislation to devolve some of these powers immediately. On the face of it this doesn’t seem that unreasonable given all the other things to resolve around Brexit. Have I missed something? ”

    You have.

    There was no need for a “complicated set of legislation”.

    All that was required, since the devolved Parliament/Assembly were quite happy with consensual common arrangements for appropriate frameworks in areas of mutual interest, was for Westminster to accept that the principle of the devolved administrations giving consent to such arrangements should apply.

    However, like any other overweening legislature, they insisted that they had the right to impose their will on everyone else, regardless of whether their will is only valuable to the polity over which they previously had jurisdiction (England).

    Should we trust the UK Government not (desperately) to strike a trade deal with the USA that privatises Scottish Water, NHS Scotland, negates the ban on fracking in Scotland, allows US distilleries to produce “Scotch” whisky, etc etc?

    If folk in Scotland trusted Westminster (and polling suggests they don’t and trust Holyrood far more) then that would only have occurred if Westminster had ever shown that it could be trusted.

    That they have been untruthful about debates on devolution after Brexit since day 1 simply reinforces the sense that you can’t trust the devious bastards on anything!

  22. I see that Laura K – a widely followed BBC commentator – has tweeted

    “Pretty clear SNP walkout was part of planned campaign effort – fair enough but not exactly an impromptu event”


    WIW Even the normally EUphile OECD are out bashing Germany’s twin surplus fetish.

    OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria told reporters in Berlin:

    ““Your current account got fat because you won productivity and competitiveness compared to the others in Europe. Now, does that give rise to protectionists? Of course!”

    “So basically, you could spend more, yes! You could import more, yes!”

    Let me paraphrase my point to you that I have made many times

    I see your argument about Germany as jumping from two premises

    1. Germany cheats
    2. Germany makes the rules

    So I go back to the when the berlin wall came down and Germany alone basically bankrolled the reuniting of Germany alone. Everyone watched their salaries sank they went through 10 year of basically stagnant wages etc. They decide to win the competitiiveness war by saving and investing.

    They won the war hat everyone is saying now is that they should stop winning. It is like asking Froome to stop wanting to win the Tour de France or Hamilton to stop wanting to be better or UK not to be good at making formula 1 cars. Just stop competing let someone else win. it is why I find you a man of such contradictions you voted for Cameron over Miliband and now you want every Tory and his dog to do what Miliband would have done and more indeed you receipe is closer to Corbyn’s but you can’t bring yourself to say it.

    What OECD basically said was like saying to Usain Bolt, don’t run, To Hamilton don’t drive and to Froome don’t cycle.

    And that is why I think it fails. we will always have someone that will compete and beat us, our problem is that we don’t compete we don’t invest. we do well where there is no competition. One one want to make formula 1 cars because the jobs, the challenge is getting people to buy ford fiesta or you BMW. As two people commented on here we can’t compete or we jut won’t compete we find the easy way out.

    I have seen the retreat from semiconductors car manufacturing and the like throughout my lifetime we do niche because we don’t invest. Brexit or the OECD nor the germans usign the euro or not will not change that. The comment is right though when people lose they rarely blame the loss on themselves. it’s the EU the foreigners, hell it the weather . we seem to all point the finger at something else.

    I find your posts increasingly amusing we don’t want to compete we just want the other side to stop winning it is actually becoming pure Trumpian politic no policy just blaming.

    I am gland we are leaving because as a person that marched against invading Iraq and campaigning against leaving the EU my reasons were because we really are full up ourselves and maybe complete failure will make us stop and rethink.

  24. @profhoward

    So Laura K thinks that the Speaker – who iit seems may have mproperly refused the SNP leader’s request – was part of the “pre-planning”? A moment’s thought suggests that her theory is plain wrong.

  25. @SHEVII

    Your are right about the technical detail of the bill. In itself it was nothing to get worked up about any more than any other part of the brexit led legislation however I have seen people get divorced and the spark for it was not the infidelity but the fact their socks were left on the floor and that they farted in bed. It is often the littlest thing that makes all the big things intolerable.

    I just think that from the SNP perspective there was just one to many p155ing on my back and telling me it was raining moments

    At some point something has to give


    I think I pointed out that Scottish politics is not important to UK politics other than keeping power or denying it to others sometimes Torys, Labour and the LD play that game overtly and covertly. Sadly as I have said many times this is never about policy but politics indeed much of our governance is about politics

    We the voters do not hold them to account and indeed fall for the same game.

  26. Shevi @ 9.11 pm

    I have some sympathy with your view that the return of powers from the EU gives an opportunity to do some revising to the devolved and reserved powers. In my opinion some issues have been over-devolved so that the interest of folk in N. England in particular is ignored.

    But 7 years to sort this out was outrageous.

    And the shocking present behaviour of our far-Right government gives no confidence to people in Scotland that there will be a sensible fair division.


    I’ve made the same point before but like Trump trevor has his belief and finds facts to fit it.

    The way to get them to spend more or buy more is to make things they want to buy.

    Apple seems to do okay selling iPhones in Germany and they buy a fair amount of Whisky!

    The idea that Germany s somehow obliged to buy from less productive countries poorer quality products seems bizarre.

    It’s like the old sketch where at half time the team complain that it’s not fair that Liverpool are beating them so ask their manager to try and swap some players at half time so as to make it more even!


  28. Prof Howard

    Of course, Laura K is widely followed – she’s the BBC’s Political Editor! I’m unclear as to why you regularly attribute terms like “widely followed”, “well respected”, “best known” when repeating comments from people.

    Is it to imbue them with some additional respect for what they say?

    As to LK’s comment. Her “pretty clear” that the walkout wasn’t impromptu is based on what precisely? That Blackford somehow knew that Bercow was going to put his own (somewhat strange) interpretation of Standing Order 163?

    Now some form of protest by SNP MPs after last night’s disgraceful proceedings was always likely. Given that Westminster chose to trash the vote by SNP, SGP, SLab and SLD MSPs it would only be shocking if the Westminster colleagues of those SLab and SLD MSPs rejected their choice (which is what they did).

    Whether the walkout was impromptu, or anticipated, I have no idea – and nor does LK, since her feed line is entirely from within the Tory Party.

    However, like Dewar leading the Scots MPs out of the Commons in 1987, it has been a very successful strategy (no wonder LK tries to demean it).

  29. Thanks the replies- certainly the 7 years seems excessive. Where is this 7 years coming from (seems very specific)?

    @ Davwell

    Didn’t understand that bit about the revisions (as my opinion). I guess there might have been but I assumed it was a case of what bits of the EU powers need to be transferred to Scotland and which bits are better left to UK government and perhaps how that fits in with the current situation.

    @ Oldnat

    I certainly get your overall point but not sure how your comment specifically relates to the vote about EU powers coming back.

    “All that was required, since the devolved Parliament/Assembly were quite happy with consensual common arrangements for appropriate frameworks in areas of mutual interest, was for Westminster to accept that the principle of the devolved administrations giving consent to such arrangements should apply.”

    Why would the devolved parliaments need to give their consent (in 7 years time) to get some of those EU powers for themselves?

    Maybe if there had been a meaningful debate I’d have understood better :-)

  30. PTRP

    “I think I pointed out that Scottish politics is not important to UK politics other than keeping power or denying it to others sometimes”

    I think you are “teaching your granny to suck eggs”!

    That has been obvious for the last few hundred years!

    Other than the initial problems with the UK Union that John B and Davwel discussed above, the UK did a reasonable job of managing a disparate state, largely by leaving domestic issues to the Scots, and only legislating when a clear majority of Scots MPs said it was essential that they do so.

    As far as Scotland is concerned, the “modern” UK Union has only existed since the end of WWII. From that point, Westminster increasingly took more and more control of Scottish issues, and decided them on the basis of (largely English) political thinking in what they thought (wrongly) was a unitary state.

    Hence, the demand for return of political decision making to Scotland (only those south of the border thought that was something new, and became resentful – they had been in total ignorance before that).

    Now Westminster is trying to grab back control, and some are surprised at the response?

  31. @catman
    “I’m not sure the Conservatives are better, as they only squeaked past the line via arm twisting, probably threats about careers, last minute begging and offering vague promises about further “consultations and listening”.”

    This only seems to work as a statement if you’re not sure whether 1 resignation and 5 defying the whip is better than 6 resignations and 89 defying the whip.

    Which it seems to me only works if you’re not sure whether 89 is a bigger number than 5 or 6 a bigger number than 1.

    The reality is that yet again, in the context of our parliamentary system, this has been a disciplined display by the Parliamentary Conservative Party.

    For Labour, well, in the context of a student debating society the Parliamentary Labour Party’s performance, rebelling in vast numbers in opposite directions in a hopeless cause, no doubt enabled lots of egos to be paraded. As a parliamentary operation it was the usual shambles.

    As was the action of the opposition overall, with the two largest parties choosing to abstain on the amendment each other supported rather than looking for common ground.

    The government is just playing the game of minority government immeasurably better.

  32. Shevii

    Sadly, not only was there no debate in Parliament, but your media chose not to be arsed to enlighten you!

    As a Scots professor living in England noted tonight, the SNP walkout was actually covered on BBC News, and for the first time, referred to the problem.

    Consent is not the issue in 7 years time – Westminster is already ensuring that “no consent” is to be treated as if it were consent. It’s the issue now.

    The devolution settlement has been overturned, with no debate, by UK Government fiat, and with the acquiescence of Lab and LD MPs representing Scottish constituencies.

  33. @OLDNAT
    “As far as Scotland is concerned, the “modern” UK Union has only existed since the end of WWII. From that point, Westminster increasingly took more and more control of Scottish issues, and decided them on the basis of (largely English) political thinking in what they thought (wrongly) was a unitary state.”

    While it is probably true to say that the UK government’s greater assertiveness dates from WWII, the “largely English” comment may need qualifying.

    If you look at situations where a UK Government has been sustained by a majority in one of the two largest countries of the union that it didn’t have in the other, four of the five post-war instances prior to 1979 were of a majority party in Scotland without a majority in England forming a government, albeit that not all lasted very long.

    It is only since 1979 that the opposite has become usual (and even then, with a counterexample in 2005 in terms of votes if not seats).

  34. Got my stat wrong by relying on ageing memory.

    I think what I should have said is instances where a party with a seat majority in one of the two larger polities found itself in opposition rather than instances where a party without a majority in one of the two larger polities found itself in government.

    They do seem to split 4 (1950, 1964, 1974, 1974) to 1 (1959) in the pre-79 period.

  35. If HMG thinks a 7-year limit is needed to sort out the shifting of powers back to Scotland coming to the UK on our leaving the EU, surely they should have the same 7-year period for sorting out the UK departure.

    Any discrepancy between the two is an insult to Scotland.

    TM needs to give a clear lead and say the UK will not leave the EU until 2022. That should be a reasonable time to sort out trading and immigration, and also give a chance for a GE in the UK to approve what is proposed.

  36. Peter W

    The “largely English” referred to the policy thinking. Matters like local government reorganisation were developed for England, and then applied to Scotland.

    But you don’t address the issues raised in my post, which wasn’t about the geographical location of MPs, but the structure of the GB parties, and their adoption of “British” (seldom “UK”) policies by their London HQs, Westminster leaderships and GB Party Conferences – all of which were primarily dominated by English political thinking on domestic issues.

    Critical matters in Scots Law and public administration that required parliamentary consideration received little attention (which is why the first Scottish Parliament spent its time enacting a raft of legislation to deal with matters which Westminster had ignored).

    It really doesn’t matter whether a particular MP represented a constituency in Scotland, England or Wales. Their job was to vote the party line, and if from outwith England (and Wales on many issues) the needs back home were irrelevant.

    So the demand for a restoration of Scottish legislative power on Scottish matters grew, and resulted in the devolution settlement.

    All polling suggests that having these powers exercised in Scotland is overwhelmingly popular. The issue now is that some of those are being clawed back to Westminster,

  37. PTRP

    Well put.

    It’s one of the reasons which makes Germany so attractive to me. I like the idea of being in a country with a falling national debt. Trading my share of the UK’s national debt for a share in Germany’s national debt seems like a win for me.

    It seems that Germany has a pretty good level of infrastructure in exchange for it’s national debt, what did the UK get? A bank which it’s struggling to sell for a loss and train timetables which seem to be rewritten on a daily basis :P

    Even today they are paying for reunification (5.5% of whatever you pay in income tax as an additional surcharge) that’s the long term thinking they took when they took on reunification. Some of that is now contributing to paying off German debt which accumulated in the early period when investment in East Germany was greater that the revenue from this surcharge, To me it seems a perfectly sensible way for a nation to pay for a long term project like reunification.

    When this comes to an end, Germany should end up with a smaller surplus and result in more spending as the tightening of the belt will be eased. I’d have thought even TW could wait until 2019 so see this shift take place.

    Looking at Merkel’s words about investing in AI and machine learning, it seems that they are going to be serious about this sector and I suspect they will be rather successful when they do turn the taps on. Now is a good time to jump aboard the ship before the UK government smashes the gangplank up.

    People should stop moaning (it’s very boring and unpatriotic) and be more German!

  38. ON

    “But is your complaint that “the English” are actually superior?”

    Of course.

  39. Pete B

    Flanders & Swann put it best.


  40. Times reporting that Murray Foote (editor of the Daily Record 2014-16) and the inventor of the notorious “Vow” now supports Scottish independence.


    If the 2014 promises had actually been implemented, then perhaps the UK Union might have survived, but dishonesty and false-dealing does have its consequences.

    As I’ve suggested often before, the UK could have been made to work, but Westminster chose not to grasp that opportunity.

  41. @Turk
    ‘I see Labour are out doing the Tories on the front bench resignations up to six so far.’

    No – a PPS does not sit on the front bench.

  42. Prof Howard

    The BBC have zero credibility where Scottish politics is concerned. Their coverage of the independent Referendum was a disgrace particularly Nick Robinson’s clear bias towards the Remain campaign

  43. OldNat

    I think Gilbert and Sullivan got there first with “For he is an Englishman”

  44. Alan

    I considered G&S, but they were rather too pro-EU with the idea of people freely moving round Europe and choosing their identity.

    For he might have been a Roosian,
    A French, or Turk, or Proosian,
    Or perhaps Itali-an! .
    But in spite of all temptations
    To belong to other nations,
    He remains an Englishman!

    F&S are much more explicit about English superiority. None of your fancy choosing where to live, work and pay taxes for them!

  45. @OLDNAT

    I think you misunderstood my post: The important bit was not the irrelevance to UK. In that Scottish interest do not matter but the fact that at the same time Scottish Tories are helping the same government in power.

    I think it is ironic that May is in power principally because she has 12 Scottish MP and Cameron got a majority due to the fat of English fears of Scottish influence (so perhaps it is a Granny and Egg moment but I have not seen anyone on this site state it.

  46. Will anything that has been discussed on here over the last two days move polling? I’m guessing not.

    The people I work with have been getting themselves exercised to what I consider an extent out of all proportion with the impending closures of M&S and Poundworld in Northampton and House of Fraser in Milton Keynes and Leamington Spa. The responses I’ve had to my suggestion that this is because retail in town centres has been dying for forty years and should be allowed to just get on with it reminds me that opinions other than my own are available.

    The three people I’ve spoken to recently about their root canal work has focused on a collective perception that the NHS is stuffed, and those who rely on it have major issues with public transport.

    The government noticing that our basket case County Council has been bankrupt for the last decade and deciding that two unitaries combining intensely built up areas with wholly disparate rural areas is the key to restoring harmony, and about seven local consultations are about to be launched, with people being advised to pick up response forms from local libraries, most of which are now open between one and three days a week since NCC tried to close them last year.

    Curiously, not one of my colleagues has mentioned Brexit, Scottish devolution, or raised the question of what constitutes a meaningful debate, or even whether 650 yes-MPs might come up with a better plan for taking back control than a few thirsty ministers. Both of my Muslim colleagues have taken leave for Ramadan, so I’ve not been able to ask them about prejudice in the Tory party, as far as I’m aware I don’t have any Jewish workmates to talk to about Corbyn.

    The most obvious lesson to learn from last year’s election was that opinions change according to things which affect their lives, yet still politicians and those who report on them, including us – and I include myself when on here – retreat to an imaginary world where Brexit us the only issue.

    In the sense that Poundworld has gone under due largely to Brexit driven inflation, and we are all poorer personally with a devalued currency, it is an issue, but it’s not perceived as such by most, and, anecdotally just as above, people aren’t listening, or caring, about it.

    Which is why the last two days might as well not have happened


    I am going to agree that nothing that has happened is going to change polling much. Part of this is that I think that when you find the world is complex and your simple solutions don’t work you either take a step back and try and solve it or you ignore it and carry on regardless.

    The obvious one is Brexit. I see shades of Iraq in this.(Ok I have said this too many times) It is actually a brilliant metaphor for our predicament. What was promised and what has happened has been totally at odds. The simple solution offered was appealing. The complexity obscure and the reality far away from us. You have the reaction of electorate that is simply we have to just carry on because everything else would seem like a betrayal or undemocratic and yet there is no incentive for anyone to say I made a mistake or things are different.

    Much of the problem is that we often do not discuss policy but politics and our politics is essentially the politics of tribe. I use this youtube video to point out it is not Corbyn’s policies that are a problem it is what Corbbyn ‘represents’ that is the problem. read a lot of TREVOR WARNEs posts and beyond the Germany is to blame he often seem to be arguing for Corbyns policies but Tories to do them. Indeed the argument of the idea that there is no Magic Money Tree for me was a brilliant example of tribal politics and no view of policy, because at some point there is going to be more borrowing since we cannot do the investments needed without it.

    As to people being poorer: It is funny petrol has gone up rather quietly this week, yes our currency is devalued and money has to stretch further but the fact that people feel they cannot take their choices back, they don’t want to make another decision together with Politicians whom dare not do anything that they can be blamed for makes for the sort of policy vacuum which only leaves tribe

    It is not the last two days but actually the problem we faced in 2008 has not been solved and I believe we made the mistake back in 2010 and yet are only slowly accepting that error.

    The Iraq metaphor comes to mind because from all the polling evidence despite all the marches and the like most polls had UK in favour of war and against and the yougov did an interesting retrospective in which it seemed like a good proportion of us forgot which side we were on



    The second link is funny but equally damning reflect of where we are at

  48. PTRP

    The idea that complex issues can be made very simple was forcibly reinforcved by a “vox pop” on BBC East a couple of nights ago. They decided to speak to a few people in a pub in Colchester in an area that voted for Brexit.

    The views put forward by the punters in response to what did they think about the votes in Parliament were, “I can’t understand what all this nonsense with Brexit is about. We voted to leave, why don’t we just leave? What is there to negotiate?” “Yes, I agree, we voted to go, let’s just go.” “I don’t understand the economic arguments too much, but people voted to leave because they wanted to stop immigration. Even if there are negotiations about other matters, we should just stop all immigration now and deal with the rest later.”

    The interviewer then asked the pub landlady what she thought of her customers views. She shook her head and said, “Brexit will be a disaster.”

  49. Will the goings on in Parliament make any difference to polling? Perhaps not in the immediate future. However, the fact that the Westminster Parliament has overturned its own legislation by ignoring the Devolution Settlement (see mine of yesterday evening, c. 6.30) will stiffen the resolve of many north of the Border to engage in ‘one more heave’ towards independence.


    The point at issues is not that Westminster wants to defy its own legislation for 7 years in order to do something which would otherwise be impossible (i.e. the establishment of UK-wide regulations). The point is that a mechanism already exists to establish UK-wide regulations within the Devolution Settlement. It is called the Joint Ministerial Committee, wherein the four nations of the UK participate as equals. It would be quite possible for the JMC to do what the UK Government wishes to do – except, of course, that the UK government would not have a majority on that committee and would have to enter into genuine negotiations with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland instead of dictating what is to happen.

  50. @Alan –

    “It’s one of the reasons which makes Germany so attractive to me. I like the idea of being in a country with a falling national debt. Trading my share of the UK’s national debt for a share in Germany’s national debt seems like a win for me.

    It seems that Germany has a pretty good level of infrastructure in exchange for it’s national debt, what did the UK get?”

    You are wrong – at least in terms of German infrastructure.

    Years of centre right government obsessed with reducing the national debt and avoiding a deficit have finally started to demonstrate the folly of such an illogical policy. Their roads are crumbling, bridges are closing to heavy vehicles, schools are falling apart and a whole host of issues are emerging with outdated infrastructure that should have been replaced years ago.

    See https://www.ft.com/content/a98f7b30-776a-11e7-90c0-90a9d1bc9691 and https://www.economist.com/europe/2017/06/17/germanys-low-investment-rate-leaves-its-infrastructure-creaking for some authoritative articles about this.

    Since 2002, for most of the time the net value of German state assets has been falling – ie they are degrading faster than new investment to replace them. You might like the idea of trading in your share of national debt for one where there is a shrinking debt, but in doing so you would be talking on a share of a degrading public asset register – so you would just be trading in one gain for a loss elsewhere, but one that is longer term and hidden.

    As I’ve said many times before, the childish argument from right wing politicians is that government debt and deficit spending is bad, because it saddles a debt burden on our children. That’s logical nonsense, as anyone can see. As individuals, we buy a house with a 25 year mortgage, and we do this because accepting an enormous long term debt is hugely to our future betterment, so long as we are sensible regarding the level of debt and cost of servicing. It’s precisely the same for countries, except with lower borrowing costs and much longer time frames.

    Indeed, to repeat my oft quoted scenario, rather than debt impoverishing our children. if a government can borrow at 2.5% and build something that yields 3% pa for the wider economy, then by not borrowing, the government has impoverished our children.

    This is what Germany has been doing for a decade and a half now and it’s beginning to show. If they don’t start spending their surplus soon, the reputation of Germany as an efficient and well run nation is going to hit the buffers soon enough.

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